The City of London Corporation has given planning consent for a 38-storey tower to be constructed as part of a new Broadgate development, the third approval granted for a new tall building in the Square Mile so far this year.
The office-led project at 2 Finsbury Avenue, to be built by joint venture partners British Land and GIC, has been hailed by City planning and transportation chair Alastair Moss as underlining that “the fundamental strengths of the City remain unrivalled” and that developers are maintaining a “solid commitment” to the financial district as the capital looks to emerge from pandemic restrictions.
Earlier this month the City gave a green light to proposals for 70 Gracechurch Street and in January plans for 55 Gracechurch Street received the go-ahead. In December, Sadiq Khan gave final approval to long-stalled plans for Bishopsgate Goodsyard just outside the City.
The Finsbury Avenue development will provide more than 83,000 square metres of office floorspace along with 700 square metres of retail space and 2,100 square metres of what the City terms an “innovative Open Learning Hub” where nearby communities will be offered talks and educational programmes about the City’s work and expertise. It will replace two buildings built in the 1980s.
Danish architects 3XN are the designers of the building, which is described as being adaptable to the different needs of start-ups and medium-sized businesses. British Land’s head of development Nigel Webb says will incorporate “ambitious sustainability initiatives” and seek to “enhance health and wellbeing through access to green spaces and outdoor terraces”.
The City says the scheme aspires to meeting “outstanding” sustainability standards as set by BREEAM assessment measures. It has also been subjected to the City’s new Thermal Comfort Index, which seeks to quantify how new developments will affect the “microclimatic character” of their settings.
Pandemic lockdown restrictions and related increases in home-working have led to large reductions in footfall in the Square Mile and predictions that London office-working will be much reduced in the future. However, the trio of City schemes approved in 2021 to far indicates an expectation that high levels of demand for new office workspace, perhaps in different forms, will remain in the longer term.
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